Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Grandma's Graham Gems

These muffins were a staple when we were growing up and we ate them with fruit for dessert most week nights. Mom also packed them in our school lunches. In the 1950s and 60s, whole wheat flour was not readily available in grocery stores, but graham flour could be purchased in small bags.
Here is the history of graham flour from

"Graham flour is a coarsely ground type of wheat flour that is unbleached, and less processed than whole-wheat flour. The production of graham flour starts by finely grinding the kernel or endosperm of winter wheat. The other parts of the wheat, germ and bran are also ground and added back to the endosperm grind, resulting in brown colored flour that many think is nicely sweet.
Graham flour is named after Sylvester Graham, one of the pioneers, or really frontiersman of the health food movement. He invented the flour in 1829 and used it in many recipes featured at his chain of “health" hotels. In addition to advocating for the use of less refined wheat flour, Graham founded the American Vegetarian Society in 1850, though he had less than welcome receptions from large food manufacturers and butchers of the time. He discovered, as many dietitians can attest to now, that it is usually healthier to eat whole grains than it is to eat overly processed food that contains a lot of chemicals.

This recipe is very adaptable and whole wheat flour and bran can be used instead of graham flour. Dried fruit is also a nice addition and cinnamon or other spices also work well with the ingredients.

Preheat oven to 375F. Prepare 16-18 muffin cups.

1-1/2 cups flour (or whole wheat flour)
1-1/2 cups graham flour (or wheat bran)
1/4 cup sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt

Combine dry ingredients in a bowl. In a large measuring cup or bowl mix;-

1-1/2 cups buttermilk (or soured milk)
1/4 cup oil
1 egg

Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients mixing until just moistened. Spoon into prepared muffin cups and bake at 375F for 15 minutes or until tops are firm to light touch.

Makes 18 medium muffins.

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